Life before going into care 'like hell', says teenager

A teenage boy who alleges he was sexually abused by his father has agreed that his life before he went into care could be described as “living in hell.”

The now 17-year-old boy, whose two older sisters have already given evidence of the sexual abuse they allege their father perpetrated on them, was speaking during his second day of cross examination.

He told defence counsel, Mr Blaise O’Carroll SC, defending, that he was frustrated by his parents repeated “outrageous” allegations of neglect and physical abuse against his foster parents but denied this had anything to do with him making a complaint to garda about his father.

His 73-year-old father has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexually assaulting and raping two daughters between the ages of four and eleven and sexually assaulting his son from the age of three to six at various locations between 1995 and 2002.

The boy agreed with Mr O’Carroll that he was taken into care when was six years old and said he liked his foster home, where he got on well.

He said he ran away only once and was picked up by his father then driven down the country. He said his siblings were also there but the next day gardaí arrived and he was taken back to his foster home.

He claimed on another occasion his father tried to get his sisters to "drag me into a car" but he managed to run away.

He agreed with Mr O'Carroll that he made a statement to gardaí in April 2006. He said he could not remember if he had told anybody about the allegations prior to this and could not remember the circumstances which lead up to him making a statement to gardaí.

He said he was not aware at this time that his sisters had also made allegations against their father.

He agreed with Mr O'Carroll that his biological parents were making allegations of neglect and abuse against his foster parents which from his perspective were "outrageous".

He said he was frustrated by his parents allegations against the people looking after him but said it had nothing to do with him making his statement.

He told Mr O'Carroll that when he first arrived at his foster home as a six-year-old he had “lots of dirty hair”, that he was wearing his sister's jumper and his brother's trousers, his clothes were dirty and that when his hair was shaved “it was so bad it broke the shaver”.

Mr O'Carroll asked him if he thought looking back his life at home with his parents was like "living in hell" and he agreed that he did, but said he missed his siblings after going into care.

He denied that someone had put it into his head that he had no clothes when he lived at home and said he did not remember the reality of his life with his parents being that he was well fed and well dressed.

He denied a suggestion by Mr O’Carroll that he had been toilet trained before he went into care and said he was still wetting his bed until he was eight and wore nappies to access visits with his family.

Mr O'Carroll read the statement the boy made to gardaí in April 2006 which outlined his allegations that he was physically abused by both his parents, that they would lock the kitchen and he would sneak to get food at night because he was hungry.

He claimed in his statement that the children, including a baby, were locked out at night time when it was raining and he had no coat. He also told gardaí that his father had sexually abused him until he was taken into care.

The boy told Mr O'Carroll that he did not recall telling his foster mother about his allegations against his father.

Mr O’Carroll suggested to him that if he was so terrified of his father that sneaking into the kitchen after taking the key from his sleeping parent’s room was a “daring thing to do.” He replied: “If you are hungry you will do anything for food”.

He agreed with Mr O’Carroll that he had been unable to recall during an interview the last time or worst time he had been abused. “I don‘t think about what he did to me everyday. I try to forget about it,” the boy said.

He later added: “It‘s not like here comes Dad, take out the journal and write down what he does to me.”

He told Mr O’Carroll that he did not recall going on family holidays and did not recall that his father liked to video tape family occasions.

He denied that his contention that he never had a coat was a complete figment of his imagination but said “I might have had a coat once” when Mr O’Carroll put it to him that he could be seen in home videos wearing a coat.

The trial continues before Mr Justice George Birmingham and a jury of eight men and four women.


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